My father died in February of 2013. I was 33 years old. There are so many things still left unsaid. So many things I wanted to ask my father. And yet, with each passing year, it seems that there are more and more questions left unanswered.
I decided a long time ago that I would not be having children of my own, for various reasons, despite the fact that I know I would be a fantastic parent. Perhaps it all goes back to my childhood and all the things that went wrong. I don’t know for sure. One thing remains certain. As children, we are poisoned by fairy tales, and the concept of life we are presented during our younger years is in no way representative of how life is in reality.
I wish my parents had told me the reality of how my life and love would be. Instead of being poisoned by fairy tales and picture-perfect maps of how my life and love would be, I think that I would have benefited from being exposed to the realities of life early on in my development, instead of having to face those realities later on. When a child is poisoned by fairy tales, they grow-up believing that life is fair, and that no matter what, life will always work itself out for the better, and everyone is happy.
My father was wrong when he said that the best times of my life would be my years in high school. High school was perhaps the worst, most psychologically challenging time of my entire life, up to then. And my father telling me that these trying times would be the best times of my life, left me with a very bleak outlook as to what the remainder of my adult life would be like.
After graduating high school, my father told me that college would be the foundation for which the rest of ones life would be built. I could see his point of view clearly. His hypothesis was that those who are successful are those who have graduated college, yet in recent times, we have seen that a college degree has little bearing on ones success in life.
I wish I could put into words all the vitally important lessons I have learned in my life, yet such an undertaking would be enormous, and wholly incomplete at best. All I have are the many lessons based upon my own meandering experience of life; the good times, and the bad times, and a handful of times in my life that are completely lacking any sense or logical explanation. But I know one thing for sure; as a child, I was poisoned by fairy tales, and it caused more harm than good.
The header image is a stock photograph. This piece was inspired, in part, by The End Of The Innocence by recording artist Don Henley.
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